The animal kingdom is full of big beasts, but it's the graceful nature of the horse which speaks loudest on the artist's canvas.
From the dawn of time, the horse has evoked passion and wonder amongst humans since its image was scrawled against the walls of caves.
It has inspired novels, starred in films and has become the darling of the art world with collectors spending millions of dollars every year.
"Personally, I cannot think of any animal more artistically stimulating than the horse, its grace, power and speed, are all begging to be captured in pencil, paint or clay," Society of Equestrian Arts chairwoman Deborah Burt told CNN.
"The horse is strong, yet fragile; it has the potential for danger, whilst capable of being incredibly gentle.
"You can echo it's elegance through the fashions of Ascot or surrounding the polo field. It can be found in the wildest locations, from the vast expanses of the American plains (Remington) to the shady woodland of England's New Forest.
"I have been drawing horses since I could hold a pencil, and will do so until the day I die. More than any other animal, the horse is equally capable of taking the lead in your artwork, or as a supporting role. It's the perfect muse."
If Burt has been seduced, so too was the 18th Century painter George Stubbs, who captured the beauty of the horse in a way that transcended the work of other artists of his generation.
Initially fascinated by the anatomical structure of the animal, Stubbs built upon his early sketch work before moving onto painting large canvases such as his renowned 'Whistlejacket' which was finished in 1762.
The publication of his work, "The Anatomy of the Horse" in 1766 enabled him to capture the elegant nature of the animal with a skill that few others possessed.
His work won him plenty of admirers and after settling in London in 1758, Stubbs began to paint for the English aristocracy.
In his book, "The Anatomist Anatomis'd - an Experimental Discipline in Enlightenment Europe," Andrew Cunningham explains the development of Stubbs' style.
"His dedication to the skeletal and muscular anatomy of the horse certainly enabled Stubbs to produce much more life like portrayals of horses, especially with respect to their musculature than had been achieved even by the great masters of painting," Cunningham wrote.
"No one portrayed horses so accurately before. In this he was more true to nature, as he wished to be."
Modern collectors scramble to get their hands on anything painted by Stubbs and in July 2011, his "Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey" sold for $35.9 million making it the third most valuable old master painting to be sold at auction by Christie's.
Gimcrack, one of the most famous and iconic racehorses of the 18th Century, won 28 of his 36 races, coming home unplaced just once.
The painting showed Gimcrack twice -- in the foreground being rubbed down by a stable lad and also in the background where he was winning a "trial."
"When Stubbs came along he took it to another level as he had an anatomical interest in horses and drew the muscle structure," Brandon Lindberg of Christie's, the world's leading art business, told CNN.
"In terms of looking at Britain, the painting of horses became more popular in 17th Century and the restoration of British monarchy and Charles II building a palace in Newmarket.
"It followed the growth of interest in racing and was also tied in to the interest in hunting, particularly stag hunting in the 17th Century and then fox hunting in the 18th Century.
"It became an allied art -- a recording of human interest for the sport."